How to Create an Inclusive Work Environment when Shifts make my Staff feel excluded

Diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand. However, where there is diversity in a workplace does not always imply that inclusivity exists. The key to achieving inclusion in the workplace is to create diversity in the workplace. Equal opportunities should exist for everyone, and not only a select few. It’s no secret that each work environment faces its own unique day-to-day challenges. Working hours differ among staff, especially as 24/7 operations increase across all sectors. You may ask yourself, ‘How can an inclusive work environment be developed among my staff when shifts can create exclusion?’. Here are some ways that a more inclusive work environment can be implemented among staff who conduct shift work. 

The Importance of Work-life Balance 

Business demands and needs are ever-changing! This leads to a greater need to output goods and services in a timely fashion. With this demand, catering for your staff in this fast-paced environment becomes more and more challenging. This can even lead to dissatisfaction among members of staff if their needs are not addressed.

Since the pandemic, the importance of work-life balance has been highlighted like never before. You should speak with your staff regularly about their scheduling. Give them the option to schedule their working week caters to each member of staff based on personal, religious, or cultural needs. This will also open the door to more diverse shift patterns. Some of your team may prefer to work a night shift while others may only be in a position to work day shifts. 

inclusivity at work, coffee break with colleagues

An open conversation with all members of staff to include flexibility in the workplace allows you to educate yourself on their needs. Not just schedule rosters according to business needs. Creating diverse schedules opens the door to members of staff sharing shifts. This, in turn, creates a more inclusive work environment as staff mingle from one shift to the next. 

Create an Inclusive Work Environment Through Training 

Education is the key to success! For companies worldwide, training is a key factor towards inclusion and diversity among staff. This is especially true for staff who may feel isolated due to their shift work. Arrange and conduct training for the whole team. Whether they are full-time, part-time, or on shift work, regardless of their positions, training provides an opportunity to enhance your teams’ skills. Bonus: It also creates a more inclusive work environment. 

What type of training can you offer to your staff? Inclusion and Diversity training can be highly beneficial. It will bring together members of staff from all areas and all levels of your business. This training will allow your staff to come together and create a sense of belonging among their colleagues. Team members tend to find a wide variety of communities in the workplace, which creates a healthier and more engaged work environment. 

Make certification courses available to new and existing staff. This creates a prime opportunity to upskill the teams in software, machinery operations, leadership skills, etc. The courses can be hosted at times to work around your staff’s shift work. Upskilling your staff and organising training courses at times when staff can choose courses that suit their schedule will eliminate the possibility of exclusion among staff. 

Why not offer extra external training to your non-native English speaking staff? At Everywhere English we offer English courses to cater to your business needs. We provide online English lessons that can be organised based on your staff’s weekly schedules and shifts. Introducing English language lessons can not only enhance your staff’s linguistic skills and confidence, but it can pave the way to further cultural awareness within the business and create a more inclusive work environment as it brings together staff from various sectors and shifts. Further information on our corporate English training can be found here

online English learning to create inclusive workplace

Take Care of Your Staff

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! 

Shift work can often lead to an exhausted and unwell workforce if not managed correctly. How can you avoid your staff falling ill and potential burnout? 

Staff who work long shifts and are scheduled on a rotary system can often become fatigued, they can fall into a poor diet, and have obscured sleep schedules. Mindfulness of your staff’s physical and mental well-being is key to prioritising their general health. As previously noted, creating a work schedule that caters to your staff’s personal needs proves beneficial to their lifestyles but also to keeping your business running efficiently. 

Ensure that your staff have adequate holidays and special leave, including sick leave and bereavement leave. If ample leave is in place, your staff can take time off for self-care and recharge their batteries, even during sudden and unexpected circumstances in their personal lives. 

Provide in-house services, such as counselors, medical services, and even financial services such as banking services. This type of support allows staff to borrow and save money at favourable rates and ensures that there is no external pressure placed upon your employees that could impact their work. There are also lots of amazing apps out there like Craoi which help staff with their wellbeing at work and also create a community feel – getting the best of both worlds!

wellness in the workplace

Additionally, you can further enhance an inclusive work environment by giving back to your staff. Organising staff lunches, quarterly or annual gatherings, or setting up societies within your business can encourage staff, especially from different shifts, to come together both during and outside of working hours. 


Inclusivity in the Workplace

Inclusion and diversity are fundamental to a successful environment. Remember to create a mindful, fair, and balanced workplace. Attack the barriers to inclusivity before they have a chance to be put up. 


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